February 18, 2007

If you’re scoring at home, it was Halloween the last time we provided any sort of news update, an update that illustrated the corollary of No News Is Good News, as the news we announced was, we’ll agree, relatively bad: that we were not performing Hanukkah shows in 2006. However as the Sam the Sham fans among you know quite well (cf “Oh That’s Good, No That’s Bad”), what may appear on the surface to be bad news can in fact be anything but. We won’t pretend there was not a twinge or two when the Grinchberg stole Hanukkah, but as our very fun, very exhausting European tour of November/December drew to a close, we were nothing but relieved that we didn’t have eight shows to play and eighty covers to learn.

Sticking with our theme we have nothing but good news to report in this “update,” in that we have no news to report. Instead, let’s clear up a misperception. Normally, we love a good misperception, but in this instance, a lady’s honor is at stake. Chris from Portland was digging a little disc 2 of Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo recently when a question occurred to him:

Okay, to be upfront — this question is going to seem very rude. I guess it IS rude. I do not intend it to be rude. My question is about Georgia Hubley, and the “track” known as “Gooseneck Problem,” which is described as “Georgia vents some frustration,” and which sounds like:


My question is, and I wish no ill will or controversy or diminuition of the ladylike presence of Dame Hubley, but my question is — is that a gigantic, thunderous, earth-shaking fart?

….cuz that’s what it sounds like….. and it AIN’T drums, keyboards, or guitar.

As I said, it’s SOP at YLT HQ to “let the music do the talking,” to ask the listener to, as George Harrison sang so perspicaciously on Rubber Soul “think for yourself.” But, Chris, please, get your mind out of the gutter! You are correct that neither drum, keyboard, nor guitar is featured on “Gooseneck Problem”; would that you had simply taken us literally. It is in fact the sound of Georgia adjusting a gooseneck microphone stand.

Who doesn’t enjoy the Youtube? Lately we’ve been grooving to Roy Head, Dave “Tiny Hands” Gordon (which had been removed the last time we checked), and Reg Kehoe & His Marimba Queens, but the cake has clearly been taken by GBP’s incredible version of “Stockholm Syndrome.”

For those who prefer their Yo La Tengo interpretations unvisualized, we’ve been meaning to post these tracks that Ned Strickland sent us a very, very long time ago. We post no mp3 before its time, which reminds us, we LOVE that Orson Welles clip we first saw on Bedazzled, so here is his (Ned’s, not Orson’s) beautiful I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, pt. 1 (sounds to us like “Spec Bebop”), I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, pt. 2 (sounds like “Autumn Sweater”), and Our Way to Fall (your guess is as good as ours).

That’s about it. Sayonara, mate, we’re off to Japan, Australia and Singapore. Unless you’re reading this in Japan, Australia or Singapore, in which case it’s G’day, miuchi, here we come.